From average to activist

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Filmmakers Anita Clearfield, Shoshana Hoose and Geoffrey Leighton labored for two years to create a documentary showcasing a woman from Lewiston who epitomizes a profile in courage: Cathy Crowley.

In May 2004, Crowley’s 18-year-old son purchased a shotgun and, that very weekend, used the weapon to kill himself. Frustrated that he was able to legally purchase a gun so easily, Crowley embarked on a legislative crusade to initiate a mandatory waiting period for youths to obtain firearms.

Crowley set out to line up a state representative who would be willing to sponsor such a bill. Rep. Margaret Craven stepped up to the plate.

The film entitled “There Ought to be a Law” chronicles the journey of this bill (LD 310) through the legislative process. It depicts Crowley’s conversion from an introverted “average Mom” to a political activist, standing up to one of the country’s most powerful lobbies during the most vulnerable time of her life.

The show recently premiered at Central Maine Community College to a very enthusiastic crowd, which was moved by the film’s sincerity. As an audience member revealed during the post-screening discussion in regard to the proposed waiting period, “Another sunrise can make all the difference.”

Regrettably, LD 310 didn’t pass. Undaunted, Crowley and Craven will again join forces to introduce similar legislation during the 123rd legislative session.

Patti Mikkelsen, New Gloucester

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